Offered a retrospective by the Centre Pompidou, Parreno has come up with a "journey through time", a re-reading of the artist's work by the artist himself that is articulated through three elements: the exhibition proper, the accompanying series of special events for young people, and the substantial catalogue. Exhibited works and other events are organised around the projection on a vast screen of a 70mm film. Curated by Christine Macel.
curated by Christine Macel
Curator in Musée national d’art moderne Head of the Contemporary Art and Prospective Creation Department
assisted by Mélanie Mermod in charge of research, Anna Hiddleston assistant curator
Offered a retrospective by the Centre Pompidou, Philippe Parreno has come up with a “journey through time,” a re-reading of the artist’s work by the artist himself that is articulated through three elements: the exhibition proper, the accompanying series of special events for young people, and the substantial catalogue.
The first large-scale presentation of the artist’s work in France since 2002, this is also a component of a wider project, being one of a number of concurrent exhibitions that Parreno is staging at leading international venues: the Kunsthalle, Zurich, the Irish Museum of Modern Art, Dublin, and Bard College, NY. The exhibition will occupy the Galerie Sud, a 1,200 m2 glass-walled space that is both full of light and integrally related to the city outside. Exploiting these features, Parreno avoids the use of internal partitions, the exhibition design being inspired by the notion of contextuality. Exhibited works and other events are organised around the projection on a vast screen of a 70mm film.
Parreno clearly doesn’t see his retrospective as a simple accumulation of emblematic pieces. This is why he insists on the idea of a “journey through time,” hinging on key dates related to his work and development, among them 1968, the year of Robert Kennedy’s death; 1977, the opening of the Centre Pompidou; and 1993, the year of the artist’s own Speech Bubbles. Seeking as ever to escape the confinement of the gallery’s four walls, Parreno will invite young visitors to develop a series of children’s performances inspired by his past works. Every morning during the first month, primaryschool children and teenagers will present animations developed in workshops with the artist: a project entirely in accord with the Centre’s commitment, since its very beginnings, to promoting young people’s engagement with art. To accompany the exhibition, two books are to be published by Editions du Centre Pompidou. PARRENO is a comprehensive and plentifully illustrated survey catalogue, including critical essays and the first complete list of the artist’s works from 1989 to 2008, while Parade? is a children’s tale written by Parreno and illustrated by Johan Olander.
Visitors are welcomed by a large light sculpture specially made for the occasion that hangs above the entrance to the exhibition. Inspired by the marquee of the old American movie house, it advertises a film programme. And like the other elements of the exhibition, it is linked to a synchroniser that orchestrates the succession of events.
On entering the exhibition space, one finds a new, red, version of Parreno’s Speech Bubbles (White)
of 1997 - an installation of helium balloons in the form of wordless speech bubbles. Every ten minutes, the whole space is plunged into shadow by a system of automated curtains, these conditions offering an opportunity to discover a whole range of works, among them a 70mm film with its hyperrealist image. Parreno also modulates the light within the space by working with shadows. A transparent projection booth in glass appears as an outgrowth of the glazing designed by architects Piano and Rogers.
Finally, the exhibition will also host a number of regular events. A Christmas tree in cast aluminium, entitled Fraught Time, serves as the inspiration for performances by teenagers, with music specially written by London group The Monroe Transfer. Every morning between 11 and mid-day during the first month of the exhibition, Parreno’s No More Reality (suite et fin) of 1993 offers children an opportunity to make shadow theatre using marionettes based on posters of masterpieces of modern art, from Renoir to Matisse. And puppets based on New York illustrator Johan Olander’s monsters for Parreno’s Parade? - a children’s book published to go with the exhibition - will be used for a once-weekly event for primary school children.
Image: Cover of the children’s tale Parade? by Philippe Parreno and Johan Olander, 2009
Press relations manager
Isabelle Danto telephone 0033 (0)1 44784200 e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org
Dorothée Mireux telephone 0033 (0)1 44784660 e-mail email@example.com
Press opening june 2 2009 11am
Place Georges Pompidou - Paris
The Centre Pompidou is open every day from 11am to 9pm.
Admission: Adult €12 or €10 depending on the period / concessions €9 or €8 depending on the period